collecting payments for regular domestic maintenance


just looking to see how others work out payment terms for any regular domestic maintenance work, i seam to always end a season with a fresh collection of  bad payers and end up writing off as a loss as you can only call , post reminders or turn up for payment so many times before its starts costing you more in time etc. ive yet to find a debt collection service who will chase £60 here and there but to me i end up with maybe 6-10 non payers end of year at various amounts ,i like to keep my service friendly so never take the hard approach for being alittle late, as not forgetting most of my clients are busy people and often simply forget and soon enough pay when reminded. my problem is deciding on a cut off point,as sometimes you carry onto month two and then before you know it there is two months due and next i know im chasing payment which i never see. i do offer direct debit as a payment method where i offer the ability to spread years costs over 12 monthly payments, although majority have opted to be invoiced for works for the month on the final visit of each and every month paying by bacs, and a few who claim to never be near a bank so cant pay in direct to bank or dont do online and has to be cash ( but never in ) which leads to me racking up 3 months visits without payment. way i see it i have kept my side of the deal turning up carrying out the work, so not alot to ask to be paid and on time surely? my thinkings are that for current season ahead to reduce my time & costs spent dealing with  bad/non payersi make same rule over the board, if you opt out of paying by direct debit, services will be offered on a month to month basis with all invoices to be settled no later than the final working day of each month and your responsibility to settle,  no further work will be carried out until current invoice paid in full.. as i say dont want to end up with deficit every year but same time dont want to come over too strong either, as largest majority pay me with no problems but even your most regular client can turn a bad payer at any time.. any thoughts on this appreciated

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  • PRO

    Have a look at GoCardless.

    LJN premium subscriptions are collected via this service. It's easy to use and a direct debit can be set up in seconds.

    Setting up and collecting direct debit payments from your clients u...

    • hi phil thats who i currently use for direct debit, if only i could get majority onto this it would make life easy as its simple process

  • PRO

    I have some late payers - they always still pay in the end. Just reading through this I have a few outstanding payments from grass cutting that finished a while ago so will have to chase that up when I go back in January! 

    I have a few clients that are always late paying me, as a result I increased the charge for my service by around 10% for those clients to cover the next admin time, clients that refused to pay the extra obviously stopped using my services. 

    Since i introduced taking payment direct from the invoice online I usually get paid on time, in fact it's the most popular payment method for my business now. 

    • hi robbie

      i am def going down route of invoice online plus bonus it sends reminders and i can easily see whos paid and not compared to scanning down online banking screens. my only concern is the elderly who wont pay direct debit or do online bacs etc - so wondering if your able to create an invoice on the system and post it out to client who otherwise will want to pay by cheque cash and i presume i have to manually enter this as being paid once received?

  • have today signed up for online invoicing - will be invoicing after each job and whilst each invoice is expected to be settled as soon as job complete i will give 4 weeks grace before placing anyone on stop, with the reminders in the system this should reduce my time and postage costs etc.. thanks for advice

    • PRO
      That's a good move, I found it made life simpler! My accountant advised me to put on the invoice that payment is now due instead of 30 days and found that this made people pay faster...
      • i currently have on mine invoice due upon receipt as in past 30 days to some meant put in pile and forget all about ha

        • PRO

          I have my payment term as 5 days, I use a system called get jobber, I invoice before I drive away. I like the thought of due now :)

          If people aren't paying you right away, I would reduce your payment terms done to either right away or 1 week for domestic clients. I would imagine it would be best to write/email all your clients and inform them of the change... 

          • thanks robbie,

            yeah i have already got ball rolling regards online invoicing for future ref. and agree def better way whether clients pay up on time or not is another thing but given invoiced after  each visit and reminders being sent if after a months work no payment then soon pay when i stop going - im sure they wouldnt carry on going to work if wages failed to arrive 4 times running :)

          • PRO

            Better still, payment in advance:-))

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